In extravagant dish news, Mix (in the Delano, 702-632-7200) celebrates 10 years (and its last) with a holiday booze-themed dessert called the XXL Rum Baba. Mix pastry chef Mickael Maignan-Bauer has taken chef Alain Ducasse’s signature baba au rhum and Vegas-sized it. The rich cake is three feet long and presented tableside, shiny with apricot glaze and saturated with Sailor Jerry Caribbean rum, Pyrat XO Reserve or Zaya Gran Reserva before dressed with vanilla cream. It’s both a dessert and an after-dinner drink in yard-form ($12 per piece).
Speaking of special occasions, Alizé at the top of the Palms (702-951-7000, AlizeLV.com) just opened the door to making dinner there much more magical. Mention that you’re celebrating something cool when you’re making your reservation—a birthday, popping the question, invitation to the Peace Corps—and a golden key will be waiting on your table when you arrive, along with a personalized note from the staff. What does the key open, exactly? You’ll be kept in suspense throughout your meal, but you’re welcome to let your imagination run wild. Only once dinner has finished, a box is brought to the table, and only your key can unlock it. At this point, you will now resist the urge to channel your best Brad Pitt at the end of the film Seven, only to be pleasantly surprised at the contents of the chest, which varies depending on the occasion. The boxes can contain anything, including a custom pastry from chef Tammy Alana, to that rock you just spent two months’ salary on. Whatever it is, it’s meant to make your Alizé experience that much more extraordinary.
Food nerds around the country will have to reset their calendars. Vegas Uncork’d just announced that it will take place April 23-26, two weeks earlier than Mother’s Day weekend, when the culinary blowout usually happens (mental note: Get your Mom a real present next year). Tickets are on sale now for the next installment, which features Bon Appetit’s partnership with Bravo to spotlight the winner of its show Best New Restaurant at the Grand Tasting, as well as your chance to see if you can stand the heat in Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. Lucky participants will be divided up into two teams for a live cooking demo with chef Ramsay and previous Hell’s Kitchen winners Christina Wilson and Scott Commings. Other new events include Sunday brunches by new-for-2015 restaurants Lago by Julian Serrano and Bardot Brasserie, which stacks its deck with dishes by Shawn McClain, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean-Philippe Maury, Michael Mina and Serrano. I usually don’t like to rush through the holidays, but this news has me eager for spring.